Coming into a short week with injuries on your team is difficult to deal with in the NFL and fantasy football, especially if that game is the time-honored tradition of Thanksgiving Day football. Unfortunately for the Detroit Lions, who have played on this day since 1934, they enter their game against the Houston Texans wondering if WR Kenny Golladay is playing this week or if his hip injury forces him to miss the primetime game. Will Kenny Golladay miss his fourth game in a row, or do the limited practices in Week 11 show us that he is close to returning for Week 12?
Lions’ WR Kenny Golladay was a limited participant on Monday due to his hip injury
After missing practice last week along with the game, there some good news coming out of Detroit. Though the team only put out an estimated injury report, it does give us some clues as to the status of players on a short week. One player that got an upgrade in status was WR Kenny Golladay, who went from several DNP designations in Week 11 to a limited participant on Monday.
It can almost be easy to miss Kenny Golladay’s name when trying to see who is playing because the Lions listed 16 players on their lengthy injury report, including RB D’Andre Swift (concussion, DNP), WR Danny Amendola (hip, DNP), TE T.J. Hockenson (shoulder, limited), and QB Matthew Stafford (thumb, limited).
Golladay was able to get in a limited practice on Thursday last week since he went down with his initial injury in Week 8, but the team held him out the rest of the week and bought themselves more time to have him return on Thursday possibly. It’s obvious the teams need help on the offense as the banged-up Lions were trounced last week by a P.J. Walker lead Carolina Panthers team 20-0.
Is Kenny Golladay playing in Week 12, or will his injury keep him out again?
As of right now, the team has not given us any concrete answer and has been relatively tight-lipped overall about their receiver’s status.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Kenny Golladay’s injury would cause him to miss Week 9, and the team had labeled the star 27-year old WR as “week-to-week.” There was also talk of Golladay landing on the short term IR, which would take him out of the game for a minimum of three weeks. Given that he has now missed three games, they could have done that and saved the guessing game.
For someone in a contract year, it has been a difficult season that has been injury-plagued. Kenny Golladay has now missed five games on the season, with the sixth game hanging in the balance as we await more news.
When he has been on the field, though, he has been solid. Golladay has 20 catches on 32 targets for 338 yards and two touchdowns in five games. On a points per game basis, Golladay’s 13.2 is respectable. But after being selected as the WR8 (25 ADP), his WR76 standing on the season has been one of the most disappointing picks of the 2020 fantasy season.
If Kenny Golladay is not playing in Week 12, Marvin Jones becomes a great fantasy play
If any player has benefited from the injury to Kenny Golladay, it is WR Marvin Jones. Even with the team failing to score a point in Week 11, Marvin Jones is the WR14 since Week 8 in PPR formats.
He has caught 15 of his 20 targets for 190 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 15.3 points per game during the stretch. It also helps that he is the only WR, other than rookie Quintez Cephus, that is not on the injury report for Week 12. What has been disappointing is the lack of targets that Jones is getting. Even in a game last week where Golladay, Amendola, and Swift were out, Jones had just six targets and is averaging only 5.7 per game.
The thing to remember is that the Panthers are pretty solid when it comes to defending the receiver position. They allow the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers at 33.86 per game. Do you want to take a guess who is not good at defending wide receivers? If you answered the Houston Texans, you would be correct.
Can the Lions take advantage of a terrible Houston secondary?
The Texans rank as the 22nd team in points allowed to receivers, at 39.77 per game in PPR scoring. They’re one of only four teams who’ve allowed 2.0-plus PPR points per target to the wide receiver position. They’re also one of just three teams who’s allowed a 71-plus percent completion rate to wide receivers. I have Marvin Jones as a WR3 this week, even if Kenny Golladay is playing this week.
If we see Kenny Golladay playing this week for the first time since his injury in Week 8, it’s hard likely we see him on 70-80% of the team’s offensive snaps. They aren’t going to want to push him too hard, particularly as they don’t have much to play for, sitting at 4-6.
However, if he can suit up, you have to play Kenny Golladay even if we lower our expectations a bit. When he has played and finished the game, Golladay has finishes of WR26, WR16, WR20, and WR21.
He will be a low-end WR2, high-end WR3 in my rankings if he suits up because we know how good he can be when going against poor defenses, but the risk of his involvement looms large until we get more information.
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